Dream

Depression- A Dream Killer

Dream. Travel. Live. Repeat…

If it all starts with a dream… what happens when you can’t even bring yourself to do even the simplest of things, let alone dream??? What happens when the weight of the world feels stronger than your will?? …

When I found out July was National Minority Mental Health Awareness Month (mouthful), I felt I had to do things a little different. After all, more than likely you’ve found yourself in this same place, and if not then you know someone who has.

Blacks are 20% more likely than the rest of the population to experience a serious mental illness.

The Most Common

  1. Major depression
  2. ADHD
  3. Suicide
  4. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) -more likely to be victim of violent crimes

Most of us struggle with the 1st one and don’t even realize it. Major Depression is something more than just feeling sad. It leaves you with the feelings of: hopelessness, not being able to concentrate, a change in your appetite, loss of energy, emptiness, and for the most severe, suicidal thoughts. It goes beyond just your simple “in your feelings”. It affects your mind, ultimately affecting how you view life and yourself.

Black women experience higher rates of  depression than both black men and white women but receive lower rates for treatment. We are the most underrated groups of depression in the nation

We’re so used to operating in brokenness that we don’t see when our actions are crying for help. It has become the “New” norm. But why is that??…

I would imagine your family rules are similar to mine and probably like 1000’s of other black homes. “You don’t speak about anything going on in your house” You handle it and it’s not anyone’s business on exactly “How” or “What” that means. So you don’t tell people your problems. You can’t be depressed because that means “you’re weak” so you need to “snap” out of it. Or even better “just pray” about it.

Minorities are less likely to receive diagnoses and treatment for their mental illness. Over 70% of Black adolescents with a Major Depressive Disorder did not receive treatment.

Those were my same feelings… My grandmother would always tell me,” A don’t care person, don’t have a home.” I hated this expression for 2 reasons: 1). because I had a home and  2). I still didn’t care. That was until 2015 after finding out I was pregnant with my 3rd child, my grandmother passed away. A huge blow to our family. It went from grieving over a loss to postpartum depression. I was out of a job for the entire year following!! Walmart even turned me down… and then the icing, marriage problems! This sent me to a really bad place. I didn’t care about my attitude and I finally understood what it felt like to “Not have a home”.

But I’m not supposed to say… I suffered from depression. I still can’t whole hardly accept it. I downplay it like “I think I may have been depressed.” But for 2 years I found myself in this space: angry, empty, and lost. As I approached 30, I knew things had to change. In hindsight, my don’t care attitude had become a defense mechanism. In order to change my situation, I had to change my outlook. I didn’t want to be the “angry black women”.

I started to look for ways to optimize my mental health. After all “self care” is the “best care.” I took a break from social media, and started reading and writing more. Journaling and yoga is now my therapy. It’s why your’re reading this now!! As a wife, mother, I see the importance of boundaries, like when to tighten them and when to loosen them. It was hard to accept accountability, but it helps for the recovery. I still rely on my faith. I pray now more than ever, but I realize that isn’t the only option!

What if therapy was the “new norm”.. Could you imagine the possibilities??

 

Thoughts to myself like…

Your well being is considered a combination of both your physical and mental health. It’s the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy. With all of life’s ups, downs, twists, and turns this can sometimes seems impossible. My situation has taught me depression is real and should be treated as such. It’s time to protect our well being and cure the stigma. The healing process begins when we open up. Just like any bruise or cut, it starts to heal when the band-aid is off. We’re outliers we MUST overcome in order to even get to the next step… Travel.

I know the pain is real but you can’t heal what you haven’t revealed…

Jay Z

 

 

 

13 Comments

  • Starlyn Ashmore

    WOW!! Great job being so transparent!!! The older I’m getting the more I am seeing this in black women. I personally haven’t dealt with this but I do have experience with friends/family memebers that suffer from depression and it for sure is REAL and sad because it’s nothing I can do to help them!! MEDICINE is the cure and as a woman instead of cutting that friend/family memeber off you should definitely suggest medicine. However, the people that I speak of have taken medicine and then they STOP!! Continued medication and most importantly prayer is a must!! Thank you (and the rest of our friends) for allowing me to VENT whenever I need to cause that is how I stay sane in this insane world!! I know this article is going to reach some women!!! Soooooo proud of you!!!

  • Ke Smith

    Alecia this is absolutely amazing!! Thank you so much for shining a light on the issues that most don’t want to acknowledge. I’m so glad you decided to publish your blog. Keep going, there is. It limit to what you can accomplish. I’m here for you if you need any help!

  • Tatia Merrill

    Pooh, that was a powerful blog! As I was reading, I started thinking about myself and family. You hit the nail when you said that depression is viewed as weakness. My family even labels it laziness. Taking care of ourselves before we take care of others is a hard habit to break

    You write so well!

  • Alanna

    This post hits home! Depression is very real. As black woman we literally carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. We are constantly overlooked by health professionals both physically and mentally. The world looks at us from a young age as “unbreakable, unbothered, and not needing help”. We need to do a better job of supporting each other, checking in on the mental health of our loved ones, and accepting that it’s okay not to have it all together all the time! Keep writing! We need this!

    • Alecia

      Yesss, everything you said plus more. This needs to be an open discussion when they’re are so many factors against us. Thank you for reading and commenting!!

  • Wykina

    OMG….this is one topic our community shy away from! I’m glad you was able to open up and show this side of you. I went thru depression as well and didn’t realize it until I was a ticking bomb. Glad you find your happiness.

    • Alecia

      Ticking time bomb is exactly the feeling. I think it’s time we discuss this especially since we ALL go through it. I pray for it daily. Thank you for reading commenting.

  • Kemiya

    You’re absolutely right ” self care is the best care”. Us as Black women wear so many Hats and never take the time out to focus on our mental status. I am too a person whom overlook that “cloudy grey” area in my life and “ACT” as if my life is fine because of traditional household rules. As I’m reaching my 30s I have learned the importance of “self care”, More so now than ever before. Yoga ,meditation and reading helps me come to a calm place to recollect my thoughts and WIN. Very well written and a phenomenal read!!

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